Q. Which of the following was/were causes of decline of Mughal Empire?
1. Shift of allegiance of zamindars to Empire from nobles.
2. Mutual rivalry, jealousy and contest of power among various groups during later mughal era.
3. Land scarcity due to rise in amirs and mansabs and their ranks.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

[A] 1 only

[B] 1 and 2 only

[C] 2 and 3 only

[D] 1, 2 and 3

Answer: C

Two classes shared the power of the State with the emperor during the medieval period—the zamindars and the nobles. During the reign of Aurangzeb itself, there was a marked increase in the power and influence of the zamindars.  

  • The biggest fallout of this was that regional loyalties were encouraged. Many local zamindars helped the nobility, the other powerful class within the empire, to take advantage of the weakness of the empire and carve out independent kingdoms for themselves.  
  • Mutual rivalry, jealousy and contest for power among the various groups during the rule of the later Mughals, not only reduced the prestige of the emperor, but also contributed to the decline of the empire. 
  • The number of amirs and their ranks or mansabs had increased sharply over time; there was little land left to be distributed among them as jagirs. 

Source: Spectrum Modern India.